Psychiatrist Questions Happiness

Why am I not happy as all other moms around me are?

I am a new mom and I feel I am not as happy as the other moms around me are. I love my child but I still feel like I am not as happy as I could be. What could be wrong?

14 Answers

Some people suffer from postpartum blues or even postpartum depression. If you are feeling depressed or sad most days, have less interest in things that you used to find fun, changes in appetite, sleep, low energy, low motivation, excessive feelings of guilt, thoughts of death, you need to see a doctor for an evaluation right away.

If, however, you are simply feeling less happy than you could be, there could be a lot of explanations. Becoming a new mom can mean losing sleep, losing a sense of spontaneity, losing some independence, losing exclusivity in an intimate relationship. Having a child changes the dynamics in a relationship. Often, women are caregivers for their partners in many ways, and partners lose that exclusive attention they were receiving which can create conflict. Many women idealize what being a mom will be like, and reality can be quite a shock. Comparing ourselves to others often makes us feel inadequate, as we tend to compare ourselves only to people who have what we want. It is certainly possible that other moms are not quite as happy as they seem, but they may want to display a positive outlook on their lives via social media.

Remember to be good to yourself. It is important to take a break. If you are lucky enough to have trusted caregivers, have them watch your child so you can reconnect with yourself without having to be needed for everything.
Do you have good friends you can share this with? Or family who are understanding? If you cry often, or are clinically depressed, I suggest you seek professional advice, either with an LMFT, LCSW, or a psychiatrist. This is an issue that should be discussed with a professional if it has gone on for more than a month. Best wishes- your child needs you, (for a long time!),so you have to take care of yourself in order to be the best mom you can be for your little one. I have 3 grown daughters, I know how hard being a new mom is. You need help and support from all your family, friends, and partner (baby's dad).
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Hi,
You may be suffering from post-partum depression which is especially prevalent if any past history of depression, Recommend see a psychiatrist or your family physician as soon as possible...your family doctor can refer you to a psychiatrist in your area with expertise in this area. With a complete evaluation, a clearer understanding can be obtained and you may or may not require medication and you likely will be referred for therapy. Becoming a first time Mom is a big change afterall and it can feel overwhelming so talking with expert in the field can get you on the right path to feeling better, and more self assured and happy with yourself and your baby, Best of luck...You will be feeling better in no time after seeking help, Dr. Amy
Sounds like you are experiencing a depressive ss. This can be an adjustment to new role as well. Please start seeing a therapist and if they recommend you should see a psychiatrist. You should get a physical exam as well.
This is genetic disorder as well.
All the best.
You could have a post partum depression which is often set off by the big change in hormones that occurs with childbirth. It is similar to experiencing a sudden menopause. there are times that once the depressions starts it feeds on itself - guilt leads to negative thinking and keeps the depression going.

Medications even for a breastfeeding mom are useful. Zoloft for example has very little entry into the milk supply. Therapy and support groups are also helpful.
Hi! That is an excelent question. Post-child birth mother might suffer from post-partum “blues” within the first month post-partum. Has been associated with decreasing hormones levels, increased responsability, poor sleep and worriedness associated to infant care. Usually fades away but if symptoms persist for more than 1 month post-partum and develop other symptoms like poor appetite, decrease interest in activities, guilt, poor concentration, hopelessness, helplessness or having death wishes/suicidal ideas then post partum depression should be considered. Post-partum depression needs psychotherapy and possible pharmacotherapy depending on severity. Hope everything improves with you motherhood experience.
Many things affect a new moms - hormonal changes, being tired and worrying all the time, could be postpartum depression. Sometimes extra 1 - 2 hours of sleep will make a big difference. If it does not, I recommend to see a psychiatrist. Motherhood suppose to be joyful time.
Well we should definitely rule out post partum depression. There are many variables that can play a aprt on how you are feeling- the support that you have with your child, work, fanily, relationships and stress. How many weeks postpartum, if you are breastfeeding or not. Etc... it is very common for that to happen to moms
One is never as happy as one could be especially if you compare yourself to others. The best is to talk to your friends who are new mothers and compare how you both feel. There's probably nothing wrong with you.
There are many reasons why you may be unhappy, this is a whole new experience which no one is prepared for. Please be aware of Postpartum Depression, which is more common than you think. If you have any thoughts of harming your baby or neglect do not hesitate to reach out to your OBGYN or Primary care.
You’re not alone - up to 20% of new mothers suffer from postpartum depression, and more than 10% suffer from postpartum anxiety. These numbers are likely actually much higher, but many women keep their symptoms a secret and struggle in silence unnecessarily. The exact reason why women experience a postpartum mood and/or anxiety disorder is still being explored, but we do know it is never a mom’s fault - no mom wants to feel like you are unfortunately feeling. Please speak to those close to you about your feelings and ask for help when needed. Many women take on much of or all the responsibility for caring for their kids and this can be overwhelming and often leads to profound exhaustion. Sleep deprivation is a literal form of torture, and no one should expect to enjoy anything if they are profoundly tired. Brainstorm ways to improve your sleep quality and the amount of sleep you get regularly - ask for your partner's or mom's or a friend's help at night if your little one isn’t sleeping through the night and keep this help on a consistent basis. Also, please strongly consider working with a therapist trained in perinatal mental health and if needed also speak to a reproductive and perinatal psychiatrist. Asking for and receiving help is the strongest thing a mom can do - it’s saying you want to feel and be the best mom possible for your little one. Your mental health and wellbeing is not just vital for you, but also for your entire family. You are needed and loved and deserve to enjoy motherhood. Having a child isn’t easy but it should not be painful and you deserve to get treatment so you can start feeling like yourself again. Please go to the Postpartum Support International (PSI) website Postpartum.net and search for a local coordinator in your area who can help connect you with a well trained professional. I’m so sorry you’re feeling like this, but know that you can and will feel better with the necessary support and treatment you deserve.

Carly Snyder, M.D.
You could have postpartum depression. See a doctor as well as a cognitive behavioral therapist. Get out of the mindset of comparing.
Hi,

Postpartum blues is a common condition. It is usually time limited (a few months). Sometimes it is severe - then, we call it a postpartum depression. Then, it leads to fears that you may hurt the baby. In this case, a diagnosis and treatment are indicated. It is time limited, but your mothering is impaired and you need treatment. The cause is considered to be a reaction to hormones which can get out of whack after pregnancy for a time. If you have enough negative feelings to complain, I would recommend that you see a mental health professional - a psychologist or psychiatrist. The advantage of a psychiatrist is the option of medication treatment if necessary. You might talk with your OB/GYN doctor about it.

Jan Fawcett, MD
There are many reasons why we may not feel happy as new moms. One cause for such feelings is postpartum depression, which affects approximately 15-20% of new moms. Postpartum depression can be easily treated with medications and/or therapy. It is a good idea to reach out to your obstetrician to discuss this further. They can start you on a medication or refer you to a psychiatrist. The good news is that with proper treatment, you will feel better rather quickly.

Joanna Chambers, MD